Monday, September 08, 2008

Solo outings

It may seem like our paddle group has been avoiding group outings for much of the idyllic summer weather this last month. Well, it's true, we haven't been going out much. How's that for doing the opposite of what's expected? Many people go out in kayaks and other small boats only in July and August. Our paddle group is more likely to miss a couple of those weekends and paddle all spring, fall, and most of the winter.
We haven't been out much together for a bunch of reasons -- Alison's been selling her house and moving away, Bernie's still working on his kayak, Richard has been off on some overnighters, and Louise got a nasty cut on her hand. And I've been writing like a mad thing, trying to meet a bunch of deadlines. But at least I did get out on the water a couple of times recently.
One time was in my little Dragonfly inflatable, just out and about in Cadboro Bay where I often go. This time I got to meet a neighbour who lives on the Uplands side of the bay, an old gentleman who built his little rowboat years ago. That day he was puttering around looking for his crab trap. It never fails to delight me when someone starts a conversation with, "Aren't we lucky to live here?"
Another time was Tuesday the second, when Bernie was camping on the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail out between Jordan River and Port Renfrew. I took the dragonfly on the #11 bus, transferred to theh #14 and went over to Portage Inlet. Walking down Weera Street I was able to launch from a little pocket park we'd seen from the water. The object of my outing was to see if any jelly ball egg sacs were still around, and I found some as the sun was setting. It was great to go around Christie Point and then over to the old schoolhouse by the Craigflower bridge. I landed, folded up the boat and caught the #11 back to the beach house.
Today I got Bernie to take my Eliza down to the water for me so I could have a break from writing the last chapter in the current book. Another idyllic day, complete with otters darting and diving near Flower Island, and I met another old gentleman who also believes we are lucky to live here. We talked for a while, solving the world's problems, and then set off in out respective small craft back towards our home beaches.
These weren't earth-shatteringly astounding trips. But I'm humbled by joy and very aware that other people save up all year to come here and enjoy a couple of days doing what I just kind of got around to in between extra work at the university and writing my books. Ho hum. Just another ordinary paddle outing or three.

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